Illinois General Assembly Open Letter

Dear Members of the Illinois General Assembly, 

Like many Illinoisans and people across the country, on July 4, 2022, we watched in horror as a gunman senselessly killed seven people and injured dozens more at what started as a festive Independence Day celebration. Yet, as tragic as the Highland Park shooting was, it was one of nearly 60 mass shootings to have taken place in Illinois in 2022 alone. 

To say the people of Illinois live in a terrifying and disturbing reality would be an understatement. We are in a state of emergency, and we must halt the assault on our communities. 

With the start of a new year, we have a clear opportunity to examine who we are as a state and who we want to be. We have the chance to change the status quo, and prioritize public health and community safety over the agendas of the gun lobby. 

We’re calling on Illinois legislature members to step up to the plate and pass a state-wide assault weapons and large-capacity magazines ban. We urge you to, once and for all, buck the gun lobby’s agenda and prioritize public health. 

Weapons of war have no place on our streets, and only make mass shootings deadlier. These military style firearms are designed to enact maximum destruction, and the availability of them to bad actors turns all of our neighborhoods into potential war zones.  

Enough is enough. 

With the January legislative session about to take place, now is the time to address the urgent threat of gun violence, and work with gun safety advocates to save lives. 

Make no mistake, this is not a matter of playing politics. Recent polling finds that a majority of Illinois voters support an assault weapons ban. 

This is a matter of ensuring that our children are not forced to carry the burden of this man-made epidemic. A recent New York Times report found that guns are the number one cause of death for children in the U.S. – this is a statistic Illinois only knows too well as firearms are the leading cause of death for children in our state, disproportionately affecting the lives of Black and Brown youths. 

Time is running out, and the time to act is now. 

We implore you to use this early session to stop the bleeding and turn Illinois on the path to healing. We are not a war zone. We are not a place where terror reigns. We are home to more than 12 million people who are ready for a sense of normalcy and safety. Work with us to create the change Illinois so desperately needs. 

Thank you, 

Brady United to Prevent Gun Violence (National) 

Brady IL

Equality Illinois

Everytown for Gun Safety 


Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)

Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition (OUR ONE JOB) – over 100 organizations


Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America 

One Aim Illinois

Planned Parenthood

Team Enough